informatics

Linux as Jazz

Perhaps better entitled "Open Source as Jazz, and Linux as its popular standard".

In jazz, each musician improvises his part in the tune's performance. Knowing the skeletal structure of the tune, the musician applies his knowledge of harmony, rhythm and melody, along with some social knowledge of his fellow musicians, to produce meaningful phrases, amounting to intelligible overall statements. In doing so, the jazz band collectively creates a spontaneously original variation on a theme.

Language as human knowledge system

Language is a human capacity (or faculty, or ability, or quality). The thesis expressed here is that human language (so-called natural language) acts as a repository of knowledge. What is the use of storing and manipulating knowledge? Primarily, to collectively solve problems that arise in the real world. Does language support this problem-solving? Yes, because language contains constructs that closely mimic the way reality is perceived (by humans) to work.

Glimpses of an ontological model of cognition

Here are just notes to help me remember some observations for arguments of a speculative model.

Memory and sensations

Hardly an easy entry point to start with, but a vivid one nonetheless.

Sensations occur to the sensory organs of the human body (its inputs). Interestingly, the external human body is, as a whole, a sensory organ because the sense of touch applies to all of its external cells. Of course, internal organs as well have sense, exemplified by the sense of pain.

Arabic verbal forms

NOTE: Please excuse the poor quality of Arabic typography. It is not trivial in the open source world.

By verbal forms I mean syntactic variations on the 3-letter roots that generate both new verbs and new nouns. These variations are used by convention among Arabic speakers.

Such forms qualify the root verb, its primary actors (the subject and the object), and how they relate to the web of facts. In Arabic, "verb" translates as فـﹺـعل literally the "deed" or "action". The relationships between the actors and the facts (places, things, states) are altered in each verbal form.

Translating "Information"

Very quickly: How do you translate "Information"? معلومات ? This plural term more likely refers to "Data" as in more than one "Datum" (معلومة - literally "known" as opposed to "unknown"). "Information" carries more meaning than "Data", specifically the idea that not only are there facts, but they are also structured in some logical network of relationships. Where's the Arabic term for that? Most probably the Arabic computer science, information theory and theoretical physics literatures would contain many terms suitable for information theory. Let's start a glossary!

Music as process notation

Music notation defines a choreographed sequence of musical actions to produce a desired physical result, the performance of the piece. The similarities with general process description are plenty but speculative. Instruments/staff lines correspond to roles. Notes correspond to sequential actions performed by each instrument, with its precise occurence and duration in the execution. Same for non-action, rest. The binary subdivision of time is a feature of musical notation and could prove very convenient for expressing more granular process timing. Music notation supports the concept of looping or iterating (via sectioning and those double dots) and of branching (D.C. al Coda). Music notation does not include interactivity with the performance-time output, process description does not provide for such interactivity either.

Glossary entry: Abstraction

Abstract means dissociated from a specific instance, having only intrinsic form (as opposed to material form). Abstraction is a mapping of an information vector to another. It can also be thought of as a projection of the vector onto some "abstract" plane, thus leaving out all specificities.

Definitions:

  • Wikipedia

Examples:

  • ...

Related concepts:

  • Isomorphism
  • Humour
  • Poetry
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Encoding
  • Reducibility

Glossary entry: Information

Information is structured data. The word "in-form" literally means giving form, and the act of communication refers to transferring a structure from source to destination.

We will encounter several discussions of static vs. dynamic information. Static information is where the structure remains constant with time, whereas dynamic information implies a change in the structure. Active information is David Bohm's physical embodiment of dynamic information (as described by F. David Peat).

The information structure can be viewed as:

Information glossary

An ontological experiment with information-processing words.

Cooperation and competition

An economic toyworld: neighbouring cells exist on a plane. These cells need to consume resources to survive and grow. Resources exist on areas occupied by cells. Each cell competes for the resources it needs with its neighbours marked as "adversary", and shares the resources it needs with the neighbours marked as "ally". The decision that each cell makes to mark a neighbour as "adversary" or "ally" is not known a priori, and the decision-making process itself is unknown.

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